Drop Shot Nymphing on a Tight Line Rig

** NOTE ** That is the primary installment of the Troutbitten Brief Collection masking drop shot nymphing.

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The extra time I spend on the water, the extra I discover new methods to make use of outdated concepts. I get pleasure from discovering inspiration via conversations with different anglers and from the writings of fishing authors outdated and new. The fly fishing business suffers a bit by having blinders on. Whereas the remainder of the angling group appears to commerce concepts freely, fly fishers appear all too keen to face aside. Sadly, that mindset prices plenty of alternatives for studying, for mixing techniques and shifting ahead with one thing new. For my part, drop shot nymphing on a decent line rig is a type of probabilities. It’s a deadly-effective methodology that wins the day beneath quite a lot of conditions, and it deserves a spot in each nymph-angler’s quiver.

Inserting the burden on the backside of the chief will not be a novel thought. The historical past of drop shotting goes again an extended, very long time. And just a bit analysis reveals a number of sources that element drop shot nymphing with most of the identical rules, rigging and drifting concepts that I’ll discover on this Troutbitten Brief Collection.

Over the following few weeks, I’ll cowl drop shot nymphing on a decent line system and Mono Rig in 5 or 6 installments. When completed, this Troutbitten Brief Collection will cowl the drop shot techniques that I exploit day-after-day. As a result of because the years go, I’ve discovered just a few refinements, I’ve discovered just a few benefits that lead me towards drop shot as the answer for extra on-stream issues. It’s a tactic that has its place alongside all the opposite ways in which I prefer to drift nymphs. As a result of the rules of useless drifting a nymph normally come all the way down to imitating a pure drift as shut as doable, however the strategies for doing so are remarkably different.

Each river state of affairs has an answer. And very often, drop shotting is the proper reply.

The whole lot Previous is New Once more

I feel I first tied and forged a drop shot rig a few a long time in the past. Proper across the time I used to be making an attempt to dial in my nymphing sport, I learn an article from In Fisherman, a few bounce rig for fly fishing. It was drop shotting, however the methodology included an indicator. And on the time I used to be dead-set towards including an indy to my line. I did sense the chances of merely inserting the burden past the nymphs as an alternative of forward of them, and I attempted drop shot rigging a handful of instances. I don’t even bear in mind if I caught fish earlier than placing it apart. And truthfully, I simply didn’t have the arrogance again then to department out or deviate too removed from the requirements.

Drop shotting is large within the bass fishing world, in fact, and I ran throughout it sufficient to maintain me biking via it occasionally. Galloup had an article and a couple of good videos that helped plenty of anglers virtually a decade in the past. Galloup’s knowledge helped me flip the nook and put drop shotting in my common bag of tips. I began utilizing it extra, but it surely typically remained on the backside of that bag.

I revealed a few articles on drop shot nymphing right here on Troutbitten over the previous couple of years. And a type of articles highlighted Dave Rothrock’s rigging methodology. He positioned all nymphs on tags as an alternative of tying them in-line. And for me, that made an enormous distinction. So I used it extra, till drop shotting lastly began to turn out to be a big a part of what I did on the water.

READ: Troutbitten | Streamside — Dave Rothrock’s Drop Shot Video
READ: Troutbitten | Ask George Daniel — Drop Shot Nymphing

Weighted or Unweighted

Two extra key moments of understanding lastly gave me the required closing confidence, and I now make use of drop shot as a lot as I exploit conventional cut up shot placement and simply as typically, weighted nymphs.

I had at all times been instructed that unweighted flies should be used with drop shot. However most of my confidence nymphs had a bead. By no means one to get forward of my fly tying, I simply wasn’t the form of angler to hold an entire set of unweighted or frivolously weighted variations of my confidence flies, tied particularly for drop shot. And that held me again.

Then sooner or later, on a whim, I tied a pair of my favourite flies (with tungsten beadheads) to a drop shot rig. Whereas fishing a neighborhood tributary, I rapidly discovered what I ought to have understood a long time in the past — weighted flies work nice in a drop shot system. Similar to with conventional cut up shot placement, it’s wonderful to combine and match weighted flies and cut up shot — collectively in concord.

Excessive | Low | Jigs | Go

Lastly, my greatest private breakthrough occurred whereas fishing the saltwater surf with a spinning rod. On our household trip a few summers in the past, I used to be fishing what the bait outlets referred to as a high-low rig. And as I bumped the one-ounce lead sinkers alongside the sand with two Gulp Minnows suspended above, I had a although . . . “I’m wondering if anybody makes these sinkers sufficiently small for fly fishing.”

As a result of I weigh virtually every little thing on a gram scale at one time or one other, I knew what I wanted: nothing heavier than 1/8 ounce and rather more typically one thing like 1/32 of an oz.. Like most of you, I’m fairly good at looking out the online. However I discovered nothing.

A couple of week after we obtained again from trip, that high-low rig was nonetheless on my thoughts. And as I pulled out one in every of my favourite streamers — a Bunny Flash Jiggy, tied on a lead ball jig, I noticed my resolution. Reduce the shank off, and you’ve got the proper drop shot for a nymphing rig.

Troutbitten Drop Shot Balls

This adjustments every little thing

I carry these in 1/32, 1/24, 1/16 and1/8 ounce choices. Are they higher than simply placing cut up shot on the tip of the road? Surprisingly, sure. Nothing bumps and ticks backside — with out snagging — like these little balls. (I’ll cowl much more about weighting choices in a devoted article later on this collection.)

From the second I began utilizing the lead balls, I felt like my drop shot system was full. I used to be lastly comfy with each aspect. I had sufficient years, sufficient errors and sufficient answered questions to know precisely why I prefer it and when to make use of it.

I now spend about half of my time nymphing this fashion, and my guided friends adore it too.

Why Isn’t Drop Shot Nymphing Extra Well-liked?

I feel there are three predominant the reason why drop shot nymphing isn’t seen as a mainstream approach.

It requires extra rigging. Most anglers keep away from tying knots, to a fault. Drop shot nymphing requires a pair extra knots than different rigs. So the time funding and potential for frustration will increase too. And most anglers gained’t decide to it.

Some states disallow the weights positioned under the fly. That is most frequently an outdated legislation put in place to discourage snagging of salmon and different species. Sadly, this restriction limits an gratifying and efficient approach for nymph anglers in these areas too, regardless that the rigs we’re utilizing are a lot lighter than anybody would ever use for snagging fish.

It’s not FIPS Mouche authorized. Nearly all of info written about tight line nymphing today is laser-focused on euro nymphing, which is a decent line system with nothing connected to the chief however the flies themselves. A lot of the info shared about tight line and euro nymphing is obtainable by competitors anglers. However they function beneath a restrictive algorithm than the remainder of us. A kind of guidelines is that no extra weight could also be added to the chief. And that’s too unhealthy.

Let me put it this fashion: If drop shot nymphing was an choice, it might be probably the most broadly used rigs on the comp scene. I’ve little question about this. It’s simply too efficient for good anglers to overlook.

READ: Troutbitten | What You’re Missing by Following FIPS Competition Rules

My Favourite Drop Shot Rig

There’s actually nothing difficult a few drop shot nymphing rig. I merely use my commonplace Mono Rig and exchange the purpose fly with a drop shot weight. I additionally add a tag about six inches up from that shot.

Troutbitten Customary Mono Rig

24 toes — 20 lb Maxima Chameleon
2 toes — 10lb Maxima Chameleon
Tippet Ring (1.5 or 2mm)
12” — 12lb Red Amnesia
12” — 10lb Gold Stren (Backing Barrel with tag, connected right here)
Tippet Ring (1.5 or 2mm)
14″ — 1x Rio Two Tone Tippet Material (Non-obligatory)
36″ — 4X Fluorocarbon Tippet
— Tag for higher nymph —
16″ — 5X Fluorocarbon Tippet
— Tag for decrease nymph —
6″ — 5X Fluorocarbon Tippet
— Cut up Shot or Drop Shot Ball —


Troutbitten Bill Dell 2022 45 1

Photograph by Invoice Dell

Why Select Drop Shot?

I choose a drop shot nymphing rig for particular causes.

— After I need to contact the riverbed all through the drift. (Backside rides as an alternative of pure strike zone rides.)

— To intentionally sluggish the drift.

— To stutter or “bounce” the tag nymphs above. (That is typically an amazing set off.)

— For secure drifts on windy days.

— To really feel contact with the riverbed via the rod.

— To tick the underside, however hold the flies clear and barely hold up.

— To float gentle nymphs at lengthy distances with out the dragging impact of line/chief sag.

— For final management over the place, depth and velocity of the nymphs.

— As a result of it’s a enjoyable strategy to fish.

What’s Coming In This Collection

This Troutbitten web site provides me the platform to ship top quality, book-length materials on these subjects. A single journal article can’t cowl this sort of matter intimately. So have a look at this Troutbitten Brief Collection on drop shot nymphing as chapters in a ebook. I encourage you to learn it that method. Observe the hyperlinks (in-orange) contained inside.

There are tons of of supporting articles right here on Troutbitten about tight line nymphing techniques, so I gained’t go into nice element on the best way to forged or precisely the best way to drift the flies. These articles are already written and straightforward to seek out on Troutbitten. (Observe the Nymphing Class above the article title on this web page. Additionally comply with the Mono Rig Class. Or use the Search Web page within the menu.)

I’m excited to put in writing this down and share it with you.

Listed below are just a few of the subjects for upcoming chapters:

  • Rigging Strategies and Choices
  • When and Why Drop Shot Wins
  • Drop Shot Weights and Methods
  • Perfecting the Backside Journey
  • Struggles and Options

Fish laborious, buddies.

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Benefit from the day
Domenick Swentosky
[email protected]


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